The annual Pendle Witch Pairs held at Brierfield Bridge Club near Burnley every November is an enjoyable two-session pairs event of mixed ability. The playing conditions are good, an excellent half time buffet is provided (stew in a cauldron) and there are session prizes as well as intermediate prizes at two levels, so that everyone has something to play for.
As befits the name of this event there were some eerie and bizarre deals.
On the deal above the initial three bids were fairly normal, South's one spade call was mysterious, it would normally show a five card suit, but he was worried that game could be on if North were strong and no alternative appealed. West's two diamond call was flying a broomstick, but she did have quite a good hand, North supported partner and the auction finished.
West led a trump, which was weird given her club holding, but this wasn't fatal. East took the ace of spades which was a mistake. Often as defender with long trumps headed by the ace it is correct to hold up the ace for a couple of rounds so that declarer loses control. East then played a club and West took the top three clubs and found the devilish continuation of the thirteenth club. South ruffed in dummy with the eight, East overruffed, and worried that the spades weren't breaking South threw a diamond. At this point declarer had lost the first five tricks and needed the rest. East returned a trump and South could see that both red suit finesses would be working, but could only take one of them. However, on the run of the trumps West was squeezed, she could either keep four hearts to stop declarer making lots of heart tricks and come down to singleton king of diamonds, in which case declarer would make three heart and two diamond tricks, or give up the hearts in which case declarer would make four hearts and the ace of diamonds. Magic.